Side hustle ideas: How to start freelancing to make an extra $1000 a month

by Felix Yim

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So you want to make a bit extra on the side? Awesome mindset. I personally never like to be dependant on one source of income. Especially in uncertain times like these, it’s more important than ever to take control of your money. If you’re smart enough to read this article, you’re smart enough to have a skill valuable enough people will pay for. So in this guide, I’m going to explain how you can get started in the world of freelancing and help yourself make a spare $1000 (and more) a month. 

The Right Mindset

The first step you need is to have the right mindset. I cannot stress to you have important having the right mindset is. So many people have limiting beliefs that hold them back from achieving their goals. Want to hear a few? I really want to do it, but I just don’t have time. People won’t listen to me because of my accent. I don’t have a degree in this.

If you’re in the unfortunate place and you’re always listening to these excuses, you will have to steer clear of these people. Or if you can’t, at least make a mental note to not let these voices camp inside your mind. 

If you’re having these thoughts yourself, it’s alright, we all do, just know that it’s a mental speed bump and fill this guide to help you get past the speedbumps.

What do you offer? 

When I was studying in university, I had this exact thought. It wasn’t like I was loaded up with practical skills. In fact, I was the opposite of a star student was barely scraping by. But after talking to others, I was about to put together a list of things I was good at. I couldn’t sell them all but here’s what I got: 

  • Social skills
  • Normally a happy person 
  • Able to use excel 
  • Know how to code
  • Graduated high school 

It’s not a stellar list, but it’s what I came up with. And guess what? See that last point on that list? Sure, it doesn’t sound like that big of an achievement, but guess what? There are so many skills we have that we take for granted. I decided on teaching math to other high schoolers. It’s not the freelancing gig that I’m here to boast about, but that was my foot in the door into the freelance world. 

So what can you offer? Put together a list yourself and maybe ask a close friend to cross-check that list. 

Find the right platform

So now that you have an idea of that you can offer, where can you test out that idea? Find an online platform and post up your services and see who’s interest. There are two types of platforms. Ones like Fiverr or Facebook Groups are what we call pull platforms. Customers will come to you if they’re interested. They call up, ask simply can you help me out, if you say yes, there you have it, your first customer. Sounds easy right? The problem is if you’re customer is calling, they have control of the situation and they can shop around for the price. Nevertheless, sign up to Fiverr and put up an ad to get your foot in the door. 

Build an outreach list

Ok ok, the last method was working with platforms. It’s good to start working on a platform but at the end of the day, you can’t take full control of your offering and you can’t really charge a great price. If you want to charge a price that’s above market price, you’ll need to learn the skill of outbound sales. 

First, have an idea on who your target customer is. So if you’re offering a service such as painting, who can you sell your services to? Are there any cashed-up startups that want their brand spanking new offices decorated with art? Or are there cashed individuals that you can offer your services to. See the trend? I personally like to offer my services to those who are able to comfortably afford them. There’s less talk about the money and more focus on the value you can provide. 

So put together a list of 50 businesses or individuals that can afford your services. Linkedin or Crunchbase will have your information. Find the person in charge (always make sure you talk to the decision-maker) and use a software like Hunter to dig out their contact emails and there you go, you have your list of people to outreach to. 

Start outreaching

This is what we call… the grind. Work down that list. Have a busy schedule? Carve out an hour in the morning or an hour after dinner to do it. 

But don’t make this mistake. 

If you’re sending out lots of emails or messages and people aren’t getting back to you, then you have an issue with your script. Don’t do the same thing, again and again, expecting a different result (that’s insane). 

Every 10 emails, change up your script. 

This is definitely a case of quality over quantity. Try to have a creative twist in your outreach emails. 

So there you have it, follow these steps, and you should have a good start in your freelance journey. It's going to be one hell of a ride and the skills you acquire along the way will only make you 10x more valuable in whatever field you're in. So dive in and get started! 

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